Real estate investors and homeowners should be forewarned that water damage can occur when turning on this utility. There is a possibility of damage from other utilities too.
A buyer has the right to have a full home inspection before his purchase, but a winterized home, particularly a foreclosure can present a problem. Today I inspected a home which was following a pattern in some foreclosures that I have seen recently, and that is the plumbing fixtures are being left on. What is strange about this fact is the hose bibs for the washing machine is being left on, and the water heater drain valve is being left open. With the water being turned on, you will find water poring over your floors or attics. Generally, the firm winterizing the home should try to prevent problems from happening when the utilities are turned back on, but this practice seems designed to damage the house by trying to inspect it. The even odder aspect of this home is that the firm which did the original winterization realized that an exterior hose bib had a leak, so the bent the pipe in the wall to prevent the leak from showing up. When straightened out by the buyer, water flowed into the wall. This house really needed to be checked after the winterization.